Constantinos Avgeris wrote:Hello everyone, I am new to the site and was hoping to get some help.
I am in the process of changing my yard from a conventional grass yard into a more productive food forest/vegetable garden. I have a 32x25ft area for a veggie garden that I tilled up and added some horse manure then covered it will maybe 2-3 inches of wood chips. Will the wood chips need to be removed in the spring or can I just dig holes and plant around them?
Tom Digerness wrote:Nitrogen robbing isn't much of an issue if the chips are on the surface. As the chips age and break down, less concern can be placed on the chips and soil mingling.
Mike Jay wrote:You're doing great, no need to worry Wood chips on the surface will be perfect for your trees and bushes since they encourage fungal life forms in the soil (which woody plants love). The grass may try to grow through it depending on how thick you laid down the chips.
Mike Jay wrote:A lot of people use cardboard or some sort of paper under the wood chips to help smother the grass. But cardboard has ink and other stuff on it so some don't like to use that.
I'm guessing the "few inches" will kill the majority but that enough will get through to repopulate the area with grass over the next two years or so. The most natural way to kill is it to continue to smother it in some way or pull it.
Just knocking it back with the wood chips and slowing it down may give your desirable plants a chance to get ahead. You could always go through again in a year or two with a biodegradable layer (paper, cardboard) and then another few inches of wood chips. Or just add more chips wherever grass gets through. Or pull it if there isn't that much. Or get chickens in there which will dig through the mulch constantly and eat some grass and tear through the rest in the hunt for bugs.